After creating uproar with their support slot for Slaves earlier in the year, Glaswegian trio, Baby Strange once again stopped off in Birmingham on their own headline tour, giving fans the exact amount of rowdiness they could have expected.
Fellow Glaswegian’s Catholic Action [rating:2.5] took to the stage, being the main support for the whole of the tour. They’re a four-piece who channel a glam-rock, art-pop kind of sound, quite different to many bands around at the moment. However, there lacked a connection between the band and crowd, which being often the case with support slots, was not a surprise, but rather a shame. Their melodic undertones and simple riffs are both easy and enjoyable to listen to, but in a live setting didn’t provide any excitement or the slightest of stand-out, memorable moments. This left everything down to the headliners to uplift the youthful and crammed crowd.
Aided by the comparatively underwhelming and unheard of support acts, Baby Strange [rating: 4.5] made it through the crowd and up onto the stage. Having shot onto the radar of pretty much every new music blog back in 2013, with the rebellious snarl of ‘Pure Evil’ Baby Strange have since continued to exhibit their angst through nothing but raw and rough post-punk rock.
Appearing both calm and focused, the trio situated themselves on the small platform, looking every bit in their rightful place. Nestled in the small dingy setting facing the crowd, who were already sweat ridden, due to being tucked into one space in the already sticky venue. Opening with the dark, but sultry ‘VVV’ singer Johnny Madden crooned ‘violate me’ as they kicked into the guitar driven chorus. It became evident that from the very starting point of the set that both band and crowd were going to be unforgiving as they launched into the song.
Powering through old favourites like ‘Pure Evil’ and darker, grunge tracks like ‘Distance Yourself’, there was nothing but total carnage and having spoken to band earlier, it was easy to see why they loved playing B’ham. With all their raucousness and the vigorous energy of the crowd, the set didn’t falter once, as they unleashed stomping track after stomping track.
Both of the band’s newer tracks ‘Pleasure City’ and ‘California Sun’ gained an equal amount of love as their elders. The former provided a surprisingly huge sing-along moment, taken into considering the amount of time between its unveiling and the show, whilst the latter gave a minor breather to those who seemed to be suffering from the tremendous amounts of moshing that had been taking place.
Wearing what appeared to be a red, silk shirt drummer Connaire McCann looked like he was heading into a show fight in that attire and his fast paced drumming left him looking like he had come out winning.
For a band born out of boredom, it’s fair to say that their live shows are anything but dull. Going out on one of their most celebrated of tracks ‘Friend’, they saved the biggest highlight for last. With a complete state invasion, leaving about two of the audience members standing on the actual floor, you could well and truly say that the three-piece had conquered the Sunflower Lounge and swept away the Monday blues.